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Kupwara court orders reinvestigation of mass rape case

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  • Published 19.06.13

Srinagar, June 18: A Kupwara court has ordered police to reinvestigate the alleged rape of 31 women by army jawans in Kunanposhpora village in February 1991 to find out who perpetuated the crime.

Judicial magistrate of Kupwara J.A. Geelani directed the police “to unravel the identity of those who happen to be perpetrators” in the case which took place on the intervening night of February 23 and 24, 1991.

The court ordered the investigation to be conducted by an officer not below the rank of senior superintendent of police and within three months.

The ordered followed a protest petition by Parvez Imroz on behalf of the survivors of the mass rape against the closure report of Jammu and Kashmir police before the Kupwara judicial magistrate on June 10. The petitioners had argued that the police investigations were incomplete and malafide.

The court dismissed the conclusions made by the police in the recently filed closure report, which had claimed that the petitioners had no right to file a protest plea.

The judicial magistrate regretted that the investigating agency has not unveiled the identity of the culprits despite having a clear-cut nominal role of 125 suspects.

“Today’s order is an achievement of the struggle of the Kunanposhpora people along with those who supported their demand for justice. This will surely inspire many more victims of the recent past to wake up and fight for justice in their cases”, said the representatives of the support group for justice for Kunanposhpora.

Many people see the incident as the worst human rights atrocity allegedly committed by the army after militancy erupted here in 1989.

It had triggered an uproar and is believed to have motivated many youths to take up arms to avenge the “humiliation”.

The families claim the state administration had then sent 31 alleged victims of the gang rape for medical examination, which had confirmed that they were subjected to atrocities.

Amid these allegations, Jammu and Kashmir High Court led a fact-finding mission to the village during which many women confirmed they were raped.

The army had termed these allegations as “baseless” and invited Press Council of India to investigate the incident. The council backed the version of the army after which the state government dismissed these allegations as baseless.